Why do we have so many, or so few, firefighters showing up at a house fire?

To safely and efficiently ensure all occupants are evacuated from the home and to extinguish the fire requires many simultaneous tasks to be accomplished. Local experience, along with state and national standards have developed recommendations for the number of fire firefighting apparatus/equipment and staffing needed to perform the various tasks at a fire.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 1710 Standard recommends a minimum of 14 to 16 firefighters to safely make an interior attack of a fire in a two story, 2,000 square foot, single family home without a basement. Larger structures typically require more apparatus and personnel.

Northbrook Fire Department maintains a minimum staffing level of 16 firefighters on duty every day. Through our Paid-On-Call firefighter program, and our pre-arranged intergovernmental automatic aid agreements, we can quickly enhance our initial response to any fire and also provide coverage in our vacated fire stations. At most house fires in Northbrook we average 24 to 25 firefighters responding.

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1. Why do we have so many, or so few, firefighters showing up at a house fire?
2. Will you take me to the hospital of my choice during an emergency?
3. Why does a fire truck come to my house when I called for an ambulance?
4. What should I do after dialing 911 for a medical emergency?
5. What should I do if there is a fire in my home?